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Udo Hollbach sales and marketing specialist with over 35 years of experience heads the recycled paper business with clear growth objectives in sight.
“I really didn’t want a permanent position any more,” says Udo Hollbach with a smile. But he couldn’t resist the appeal of the new job. As of May 2019, Hollbach is the new managing director of the Greiz mill in the Koehler Paper Group. A native of Essen, he considers Thuringia a kind of return to his roots.
Thuringian blood in his veins
“Exactly 100 years ago, my grandfather came to the Ruhr region from Thuringia,” Hollbach relates. As he tells it, he basically has Thuringian blood in his veins and has always felt very connected to the region. The decision to take the job at Koehler was therefore an easy one. But the challenge also had something to do with it.
He sees Koehler’s activities in Greiz as a major opportunity. “What we do here with paper shows how flexible the material is,” he said. Few other materials can be recycled so effectively and frequently. Hollbach, 55, is excited about the range of products at the Greiz location. Koehler manufactures nothing but recycled paper and cardboard here.
Over 35 years of experience in the paper industry
Hollbach’s enthusiasm for paper is plain to see. He has been connected to the industry since the 1980s. For a long time he worked in wholesale, before eventually becoming a sales and marketing specialist. He has passed along his management experience to young people as a guest lecturer at colleges.
His goals for Greiz are clear. “We want to expand and optimize the mill,” he says. And he reports having found a good starting point for doing so. “Our goal is to build still further on the positive result and open up new markets.”
Tactics, strategy, and good Marketing
Hollbach realizes that Thuringia offers many opportunities as an economic region. “I grew up in the Ruhr region and witnessed the structural transformation firsthand,” he says. “That region, too, offered a lot of opportunities to be taken advantage of.”
A passion for soccer is another thing he brought with him from the Ruhr. According to Hollbach, the sport provides a lot of hints for how to succeed in business. “Success in soccer depends on tactics, strategy, and good marketing,” he says. “What’s more, soccer shows us what forces can be released when there is a high level of identification.”
Not wanting to take the analogy too far, Hollbach nevertheless sees parallels to his commitment to Greiz. “We have outstanding products here,” he says. “We can be proud.” The conditions for this are good, since, according to Hollbach, “Koehler is one of the best paper companies in the world.”
New Managing Director for Koehler Greiz Udo Hollbach.